Yesterday I woke up and did what I always do: I checked twitter. Commuter woes, politics, bad puns, cat photos… the usual. Then I saw that someone had retweeted this utter load of piffle into my timeline:
So, without even thinking, I reacted:
‘Men Like Women Who Wear Less Make Up’
I didn’t really think anything of the tweet, as people often don’t on social media. You post something forgetting that your words can spread. One of the main things I love about twitter as that it’s so quick and easy to find your tribe and this was definitely true of this tweet: so many women shared it, replied, and followed me.
But as with anything that gets shared online, it reaches people outside of your tribe, outside of the safe little bubble of like-minded people you collate online. And those people were very angry. They wanted me to know their views on make up and the women who wear it. Apparently men prefer the natural look (do you hear that, all men? Your self-appointed spokesmen have had the final word and have decreed how you ALL feel about make up. Sorry about that). Apparently men think women who wear make up are vain. Apparently men think women who wear make up can’t be feminists. Apparently men think beauty bloggers can’t be feminists because we’re all just vacuous bimbos with no intelligence or minds of our own. Apparently men like women who wear less make up.
Excuse me while I eye-roll forever.
As women we know this is bullshit. And a lot of men know that this is bullshit as well. But this is a pervasive and damaging undercurrent in the way that society looks at women. They want us natural. But hairless, sweat-patch-free, blemish-free, cellulite-free and muffin-top-free…because that’s a bit too natural, isn’t it? They want natural but they don’t know what that means. The amount of times I’ve seen a photo of some celebrity being lauded for being so brave to go make-up free… when anyone with eyes can see she’s wearing tinted moisturiser, subtle eyeliner, her-lips-but-better lipstick, has had eyelash extensions, her lashes and brows tinted, botox, hair removal… the list goes on. Natural is not quite as impressive and easy to achieve as these men seem to think it is.
Here we go, let’s do a quick experiment. On the left is my natural face, straight out of the shower with the worst rosacea flare up I’ve ever had. On the right is me feeling happy and confident and like myself, wearing a shit load of make up. Which is more attractive, anonymous men of the internet? This is a trick question by the way. Can you guess why?
The answer is – I DO NOT CARE because your opinion means nothing to me. What does matter to me is how *I* feel. How I feel about myself when I look in the mirror. How confident I feel when I walk into a room of strangers, or stand up to present to colleagues at work, or when I went on those nerve-wracking first dates with my now-husband. Your outdated and misogynistic opinions on what women should or shouldn’t do to please you could not be further from my mind when I do my make up on a morning. I don’t spend a (frankly horrendous) amount of money on products just to attract men, nor do I change how I look based on their whims.
You are entitled to your opinion, of course. But don’t present it to me like it’s bloody gospel. You can keep that opinion in your own hate-filled and, no doubt, lonely corner of the internet, thanks.